About a year ago, BahaiTeachings.org began a podcast to explore how the Baha’i teachings inspire positive action around the world through the arts. Now, we continue that journey with our next podcasting project. Today, we’re happy to announce the debut of our second podcast series: America’s Most Challenging Issue. Hosted by African-American artist and actor Masud Olufani, it deals with the critically important subject of building racial unity in America.
As to racial prejudice, the corrosion of which, for well-nigh a century, has bitten into the fiber, and attacked the whole social structure of American society, it should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue confronting the Baha’i community at the present stage of its evolution. The ceaseless exertions which this issue of paramount importance calls for, the sacrifices it must impose, the care and vigilance it demands, the moral courage and fortitude it requires, the tact and sympathy it necessitates, invest this problem … with an urgency and importance that cannot be overestimated. – The Advent of Divine Justice, pp. 33-34.
Lofty spiritual principles, as we all know, can inspire us. They reflect the best aspects of the human mind and soul. Those spiritual principles come from the prophets of the world’s great Faiths, and they have directed the conduct and guided the hearts of millions around the world throughout history.
The Baha’i teachings say that lofty principles, in this day and age, are no longer enough. Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, clearly pointed out that:
Guidance hath ever been given by words, and now it is given by deeds. Every one must show forth deeds that are pure and holy, for words are the property of all alike, whereas such deeds as these belong only to Our loved ones. Strive then with heart and soul to distinguish yourselves by your deeds. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, pp. 48-49.
At BahaiTeachings.org, we reflected on these Baha’i ideals, and decided to produce these podcasts to share what Baha’is are learning on our journey towards building a united world.
BahaiTeachings.org’s first podcast, Cloud9, hosted by singer and songwriter Shadi Toloui-Wallace, features Baha’i artists, artisans and craftspeople—some whom you’ve definitely heard of and some newly-emerging—who dedicate their efforts in the arts to attain the just, peaceful and united humanity the Baha’i teachings envision. Cloud9 now has over 220,000 listeners across YouTube, Soundcloud and iTunes, and its audience grows every day.
In our second podcast, America’s Most Challenging Issue, we will explore the lives of people who do the hard work of implementing the Baha’i teachings for the elimination of racial prejudice in their communities, and the Baha’i focus on learning how to build unity in neighborhoods throughout the United States.
Aligning ourselves to a set of principles isn’t enough to live a truly spiritual life or carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The world needs people who apply those principles to action. In the words of Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the Founder of the Baha’i Faith:
Mere knowledge of principles is not sufficient. We all know and admit that justice is good, but there is need of volition and action to carry out and manifest it. …Action is essential. Inasmuch as this century is a century of light, capacity for action is assured to mankind. Necessarily the divine principles will be spread among men until the time of action arrives. Surely this has been so, and truly the time and conditions are ripe for action now. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 121.
All our BahaiTeachings.org content represents individual perspectives with one common goal: to examine, explore and explain the transformative effect of the Baha’i teachings on our lives and in society. America’s Most Challenging Issue is a continuation of that journey.
Please join us in this humble effort, and share with us your thoughts and feedback as we embark on this new venture.